“McKenzie Friend”, is a person who assists a litigant in person in a court in a civil proceeding. A McKenzie friend is just allowed to take notes and give advice quietly. A McKenzie friend is not bound to have any legal training or legal qualification, yet with the knowledge of the area only. The name McKenzie Friend was established from a divorce case, named “McKenzie v McKenzie” in 1970.
This is the case
McKenzie v. McKenzie was a divorce case in England. Levine McKenzie, who was petitioning for divorce, had been legally aided but the legal aid had been withdrawn before the case went to court. Unable to fund legal representation, McKenzie had broken off contact with his solicitors, Geoffrey Gordon & Co. However, one day before the hearing, Geoffrey Gordon & Co. Sent the case to an Australian barrister in London, Ian Hanger, whose qualifications in law in Australia did not allow him to practice as a barrister in London. Hanger hoped to sit with his client to prompt him, take notes and suggest questions in cross-examination, thereby providing what quiet assistance he could from the bar table to a man representing himself. The trial judge ordered Hanger not to take an active part in the case (except to advise McKenzie during adjournments) and to sit in the public gallery of the court. Hanger assumed his limited role was futile and did not return for the second day of the trial.
The case went against McKenzie, who then appealed to the Court of Appeal on the basis that he had been denied representation. On 12th June 1970, the Court of Appeal ruled that the judge’s intervention had deprived McKenzie of the assistance to which he was entitled and ordered a retrial. As a result of this case in the past years, the practice of using a McKenzie Friend became frequent providing legal aid.
Now the question is how having a McKenzie Friend be helpful and in what ways?
By being assisted with a McKenzie Friend, you are solving the following issues:
- You are saving money on legal fees instructing a Solicitor or Barrister as your costs can exceed over £2,000 + VAT.
- A McKenzie Friend can give you moral support in court.
- We can assist you with court documents on your legal case.
- Taking notes in court and quietly giving you advice
- Draft court documents on your behalf for example defense statements
Why Zain Legal & Co?
- At Zain Legal & Co we understand the Civil Procedure Rules for all civil / family and employment tribunals.
- Zain Legal & Co are experts in what they do and are qualified Legal Consultants who have an LLM Law degree with legal knowledge and experience in all tribunal and civil proceedings in courts across England and Wales.
- Zain Legal & Co legal experts undertake regular training and online courses to be up to date with current laws and legislation.
What will be the impacts if you do not consider a McKenzie Friend to assist you in court to solve your problems?
- If you are not aware of the (CPR) Civil Procedure Rules that courts adhere to then you can get everything wrong.
- You can be wasting time and incurring additional costs.
- You will not understand or know what relevant court documents you need to file. Say for example if you are defending a case you will need to draft it properly and if you do not it can be dismissed.
- If you are not organized in your court bundle, then it can be confusing and time-consuming for all parties in the proceedings.
- Court hearings can be adjourned if you miss an important document, or you have not complied with a court direction/order.
So, if you want to avoid these problems just follow the guidelines mentioned below:
- You can rely on us if you have any legal problems and need the right support in court.
- You can complete the short inquiry form with your contact details and the legal problem you have then one of our experts will contact you within 24hrs.
- You can also give us a call on 07853878140 to book a 15-minute free consultation with one of our legal experts.
- Alternatively, you can email us at [email protected]